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C60/NiFe combination as a promising platform for molecular spintronics

By M. Gobbi, A. Pascual, F. Golmar, R. Llopis, P. Vavassori, F. Casanova and L. E. Hueso


Spintronics based on ferromagnetic metals and organic semiconductors has attracted great interest in recent years. Molecular-based spintronic devices, such as magnetic tunnel junc- \ud tions, have been demonstrated with performances competing with those of conventional inorganic devices. Still, there is huge margin for improvement, as many details about the injection of spin-polarized electrons into the molecular layer remain not completely understood. In order to achieve better understanding and control of the physical mechanisms, it is necessary to explore various combinations of ferromagnetic metals and organic semiconductors. \ud In this letter, we study the properties of the combination between the ferromagnetic metal NiFe (commonly known as Permalloy or Py) and the molecular system C60. We produced C60/Py bilayers and characterized them structurally, electrically and magneti- 35\ud cally. The C60 films grow smoothly on both Py and SiO2 substrates, and we estimate that a 5-nm-thick C60 film covers completely the surface underneath without leaving pinholes 37\ud and can be therefore used in a vertical device, as confirmed by electrical characterization. Furthermore, the C60 film is robust against the deposition of the top metal electrode, being the intermixing layer of only 1–2 nmat the C60/Py interface. Finally, we show that the magnetic properties of Py are not affected by the deposition sequence, and that a 5-nm-thick Py layer on top of a C60 layer keeps its magnetic properties intact. \ud These results show that the combination between Py and C60 provides a robust template platform for the development of molecular spintronics, and can be used later on for more sophisticated investigations, such as the role of the interfaces in the spin injection

Topics: Spintronics, Organic electronics, Fullerene, Spin valves, Magnetism, Atomic force microscopy
Year: 2012
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.orgel.2011.12.002
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